On today’s Bible Answer Man broadcast (08/27/20), Hank continues his discussion on exegetical eschatology, emphasizing that we need to exegete—that is, that we need to take out of the Scriptures what the Holy Spirit has placed within them. This is of course in opposition to eisegesis, where you impose a paradigm on the Scripture and then interpret that Scripture in light of your paradigm. Hank brings up popular television personality Bill Maher, who has made a cottage industry out of ridiculing religion. In an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, Maher dogmatically pontificated that the Bible was written in parables, going on to say that “it’s the idiots today who take the Bible literally.” To dogmatically assert that the Bible was written in parables and that those who read it literally must be idiots is at best an idiosyncratic form of fundamentalism. At worst, it’s a serious misunderstanding of the literal principle of biblical interpretation, which is, to interpret the Bible literally means that you’re going to interpret the Bible as literature. The Bible of course does contain parables, but it’s not entirely parabolic. If Maher had read the Scripture with an open mind; if he had paid attention to genre, grammar, syntax, semantics, and context; he would have realized that his bloviations are mere dogmatic assertions rather than being defensible arguments.
Hank also answers the following questions:
- Regarding the seven churches mentioned in Revelation, would it be considered literalistic to not apply that beyond those first-century churches?
- In the New Creation, would humanity’s relationship with animals return to what it was in the Garden of Eden?
- In Numbers 22:21-39, why would God favor the donkey over the life of Balaam?
- I believe I’m involved in a cult, can you help me?